Lena Waithe is creating a new show about a queer, black woman
Lena Waithe is creating a new show about a queer black woman and it is set to be incredible.
The Master of None star announced that she is working on a pilot ordered by TBS about Hattie, a young black woman who is queer.
Called Twenties, the show is based on a YouTube series that Waithe made in 2009.
Waithe explained that she had dreamed of making a young, black, queer woman the star of a show, and now she’s been given the chance.
“I always wanted to tell a story where a queer black woman was the protagonist and I’m so grateful to TBS for giving me a platform to tell this story.
“Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough. It’s time for us to finally take the lead.”
She added that it was nice to be “believed in”.
“My heart is so full today.
“Grateful that TBS believed in me and this show.
“I’m gonna keep fighting to get it on TV so ya’ll can see all my blood, sweat and tears.
“I REALLY want ya’ll to meet Hattie and her crew,” she wrote on Twitter.
Fans of Waithe celebrated her success on Twitter.
“Five years ago I found the first episode of “Twenties” online and saw myself. I’ve been waiting ever since. I am so excited for this and for @LenaWaithe,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Franklin Leonard, founder of The Black List, added: “Saw a live reading of this before Dear White People, before Master of None, before The Chi, before Ready Player One.
“Y’all have no idea how hard @LenaWaithe has been working.”
Waithe confirmed that she had plans to make a primetime show in which the main character is a black lesbian in September last year.
She announced the news shortly after she became the first black woman to win the Emmy for Comedy Writing.
Waithe, who is an openly lesbian woman, won the award for co-writing the Master of None episode Thanksgiving with co-creator Aziz Ansari.
When accepting the award, Waithe made an impassioned speech about the importance of diversity in entertainment.
“Thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the south side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.
“My LGBTQIA family, I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different those are our superpowers.
“Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world. Because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it,” she said.
The iconic episode delves deeper into the backstory of Denise (Waithe), Dev’s (Ansari) childhood friend, over 30 years of Thanksgiving celebrations.
It follows the pair from childhood and their self-discovery – largely focusing on Denise realising her sexuality as a young black woman and what it means to come out to her family.
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The narrative is based on Waithe’s own experience with coming out – something that the star rarely talks about in the public domain because she never “intended to make it TV fodder”.
“I never felt the need to tell it,” Waithe told BuzzFeed News. “I’m a big fan of telling a story about queer people post-coming-out because the truth is we’re more than our coming-out story.”
However, she decided she would use the opportunity to tell her story after Ansari and Yang were inspired by it.
“This will be the one and only time I do this. Let me do it right, let me knock it out the park, because I’m not going to tell that story again,” Waithe explained.
“I think it’s revolutionary, honestly, because oftentimes queer women of colour are told to sit down and be quiet and not have a voice,” Waithe said. “So the fact that everyone has embraced mine, I think, is definitely a wonderful step in the right direction.”